In 2009, a front page Washington Post article, “Integrity of Federal ‘Organic’ Label Questioned.” explained how Martek iosciences’ synthetic DHA and ARA ended up in organic infant formula. In 2006, National Organic Program staff told Martek that its synthetic DHA and ARA couldn’t be used in organic because they were synthetic and not on the National List. But, Martek’s lawyer, J. Friedman, was able to get their decision reversed by NOP director Barbara Robinson, with just a call and an email. He told the Washington Post, “I called Robinson up, I wrote an e-mail. It was a simple matter.”
The NOP and NOSB ignored evidence that Martek’s products should never have even been considered for use in organic in the first place.According to patents uncovered by the Cornucopia Institute, all of Martek’s DHA and ARA products are produced through genetic engineering, processed with volatile synthetic solvents and microencapsulated, three things that are expressly banned from USDA Organic.
Tragically, Martek’s Life’sDHA and Life’sARA, remain in hundreds of products, many of them certified USDA Organic.
Please ask the National Organic Standards Board to reverse its decision to approve Martek’s petition and urge the USDA National Organic Program to rescind the illegal 2006 approval and remove genetically engineered, volatile-synthetic-solvent-processed and microencapsulated Life’sDHA and Life’sARA from organic products.
Ban Monsanto’s RoundUp! Experts Say It’s Worse than DDT!
Tell the EPA to Ban Glyphosate
The EPA is currently conducting a “Registration Review” of glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp. RoundUp is owned by Monsanto, recently named the worst company in the worldby the Natural Society. The EPA will be gathering data on glyphosate through the summer of 2012 and making a final decision no earlier than 2015.
The EPA has the power to ban glyphosate, and it should, given glyphosate is:
Please watch this documentary from Argentina on the dangers of glyphosate. The video, in two parts below, is in Spanish with English subtitles. If the subtitles do not appear automatically, start the video first, then click the arrow on the bottom right and select “Turn on captions.” Then, click “Take Action” to send a letter to the EPA that contains links to scientific research that is leading experts to believe glyphosate is even more dangerous than DDT.
Back in April, I submitted a picture of an unknown moth to BAMONA for identification. I had started to ID some butterflies but had not really seen any moths other than the intrepid Sphinx moths, which are agony to anyone growing tomatoes, or anything in the Solanaceae family for that matter. Well I just received notification on the identification of this unknown moth I snapped a pic of earlier this year, and it’s a Polites Vibex!
The eminent fisheries writer Paul Greenberg recently gutted and filleted the rationale for a novel type of farmed salmon genetically altered to grow faster. The “improved” fish, created by a Massachusetts-based company called AquaBounty Technologies, threatens to “escape and contaminate wild populations of salmon,” Greenberg wrote. And the business model AquaBounty has in mind is ecologically insane: “the fish requires much wasteful transport since it would be cloned in Canada, grown in Panama, and then flown back to the U.S. for consumption.” On top of those obvious drawbacks, the GMO salmon literally offers no benefits to the environment or consumers. “It is completely unnecessary,” he concludes. Its only rationale is economic — as defined narrowly by the interests of the AquaBounty shareholders. Greenberg writes:
It seems to me that what the AquaBounty AquAdvantage salmon represents is the privatization of the salmon genome. Should salmon farming come to be dominated by the AquAdvantage fish, farmers could become dependent on a single company for their stock, just as soy, corn, and wheat farmers must now rely on large multinationals like Monsanto to provide seed for their fields year in and year out. AquaBounty will literally own salmon farming.
Despite all of this, the FDA is currently deliberating on whether to green-light AquaBounty’s dubious masterpiece — and is widely expected to do just that sometime this year. That is, unless resistance from an unlikely quarter, the Republican-controlled U.S. House, prevails. From the Associated Press:
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, offered an amendment to a farm spending bill late Wednesday that would prohibit the FDA from spending money to approve AquaBounty’s application. The amendment was approved by voice vote.
Now, the good Rep. Young was not acting on high principle, attempting to protect the environment and consumers from a product that will likely generate much more harm than good. Rather, he was baldly protecting constituents’ economic interests. “Young argued that the modified fish would compete with wild salmon in his state,” AP reports.
As much as I want to applaud it, the move marks a potentially dangerous precedent. If Congress can block regulatory agencies from approving products on the basis of harming narrow economic interests, it can also block agencies from enforcing regulations that harm those same interests. Do we want to live in a world where Congress intervenes to, say, force the EPA to approve a nasty pesticide just because its maker gives cash to some backbencher? Agencies like the FDA and USDA, riddled as they are by industry influence, would be much better positioned to fight off such challenges if they actually did their jobs and protected the public interest. In this case, that would mean forcing AquaBounty to keep its dodgy fish out of the marketplace — based on the merits of the case.
Organic Consumer Association, a most excellent source of organic news, has linked a short investigative film that documents the ties of Board Members in the Organic Trade Association to Big Business Agriculture companies which pedal GMO foods in their products. How can the biggest Organic lobby group allow this? It’s always about money. Watch the video to see why.
Organic Spies Documentary Details Systemic Corruption in the Organic Trade Association
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Financial evidence that the President of the Board of Directors of the OTA, Julia Sabin, VP/GM of Smucker Natural individually profits from Smucker selling GE foods.
An in-depth an analysis of the political donations of Tim Smucker & Jenny Smucker. They have contributed $75,500 in the past 10 years to the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, the pro-high-fructose-corn-syrup lobbying group.
Documentary Links Proving Corruption of the OTA Board
The busy body bees are in and around the garden collecting pollen from mostly sunflowers. I’ve got some other wildflowers in there too, but they don’t produce anywhere near the amount of pollen that these sunflowers do, or for that matter the quantity of flowers. In the breeze, they handily buzz about for a few seconds before deciding to hop on down and collect up some pollen. Then, they move on to another flower and repeat the process till they fill up and head home to the hive.
Seeing bees is a good sign, but seeing this one really caught my attention! This green metallic beauty sure is a sight for the eyes! I’ve never seen a bee of this coloring. From the varieties that have humbly crossed into my garden, this one is a new on me! It sure catches the eyes!
Monsanto’s New “Drought-Resistant” Corn: Tell USDA, “Don’t Approve Failure”
Why deregulate and risk contamination of organic and non-GMO crops for an experiment that didn’t work and has no foreseeable benefits?
Monsanto’s years of investment into so-called “drought-resistant” biotech crops has been a nothing more than a risky and very expensive failure. Based on company data submitted to the US Department of Agriculture for deregulation, it is clear that Monsanto’s new genetically-modified corn variety does not perform any better than non-GMO varieties. The findings come from a US Department of Agriculture draft environmental impact assessment, produced as a step towards approval of the new GM crop, MON 87460.
This proves, as Dr Helen Wallace director of GeneWatch UK wrote this week:
“[Bio]technology has been spectacularly unsuccessful at delivering complex traits such as drought tolerance, which involve multiple genes and complex interactions with the plant’s environment. Meanwhile, conventional breeding and new techniques such as marker-assisted selection – which uses knowledge of the plant’s genome to inform breeding, without engineering the plant – have produced a long string of successes.”
The danger is, if MON 87460 is deregulated, it will inevitably contaminate truly drought-tolerant varieties of organic and conventional corn, destroying the rich genetic diversity that the world’s farmers have cultivated for millennia for the planet’s infinitely varied micro-climates.